Thursday, December 17, 2009

Almost Famous(2000)


Stars:Billy Crudup,Patrick Fugit,Frances MacDormand,Kate Hudson,Jason Lee,Zooey Deschanel,Philip Seymour Hoffman .

There are some movies that you feel should not come to end and when they do the only feeling you have is WOW.Almost Famous was one such movie that just brought that WOW factor back for me.

The movie takes us back on the ride through the best years of music and the rage of the bands.The plot revolves mostly around William Miller (Patrick Fugit)a 15 year old who wants to be a music journalist and writes for underground papers in his home town of San Diego and lives with his mother Elaine Miller(Frances MacDormand) a college professor.They guy is liberated and opened to music by his elder sister Anita Miller(Zooey Deschanel)who decides to move out of the house t pursue her dream of becoming a stewardess and leaves a bunch of records for her brother.William has been in constant touch with one of the famed music critic and rock journalist Lester Bangs(Philip Seymour Hoffman)whom he gets a chance to meet when Mr. Lester comes to San Diego.They hit it off well and Lester provides William with his wisdom ,some tips and his first assignment of 1000 word on Black Sabbath for 35$.

William travels to a Black Sabbath show to interview and is not let in by the Guard .He meets a group of girls waiting for the band , he meets Penny Lane(Kate Hudson) the leader of the groupies and instantly feels a connection with her.He meets another group Still Water who were to open for Black Sabbath and with initial awkwardness he is able to gel with the band and get in backstage.The lead guitarist of the band Russel(Billy Crudup) finds a liking for William and when introduces Penny to Russel they two too develop a liking for each other.William writes about the band and his work is noticed by an editor at Rolling Stones who call him up thinking of William as a grownup and experienced guy to write a story for them .William plays along and tell he will write an article on Still Water and is offered to travel with the band on their tour across the nation.

The rest of the movie is the journey of William with the band and through the shades of life and then rock culture .William witness the struggle of a band in coming to terms with their fame ,the inner tussle between the band members specially between Jeff(Jason Lee)the lead singer and Russell a musician far ahead in the class than the rest of his band.The relationship between Russell and Penny which starts as a fling moves into an accepted love and then a heartbreak for Penny.William always felt connected to Penny falls in love with her and is deeply disturbed by the treatment of Penny specially by Russell and the band.Finally William writes about the band and the story is published on the cover of Rolling Stone as a true honest and unmerciful account of Williams experience.

The story is nowhere I feel its more like a canvas made up of small instances sewed together to perfection.The movie is both funny emotional and shows the sentiments in absolute raw form.The magic about the movie is whatever we see feels so real even though the characters are fictional.The charm of the movie lies in the direction by Cameron Crowe who brings life into such characters and never ever through out the whole movie losses the grip on any of the characters.The way the story moves from one frame to another it just feels like you are traveling with the cast and the band and that I feel makes the movie special.

The performance by the actors is spellbinding specially by Billy Crudup as Russell who brings that charm of a rock star onto the screen effortlessly.Through out the movie whatever emotions are portrayed by him seemed so real.He actually lifted the movie to a next level by his sincere and honest performance.Kate Hudson does a wonderful job as Penny Lane .She just lives her character through out ,she really looks like a groupie ,finding meaning in doing nothing.Her act during the last part of the movie really builds up her credibility as a lead actress.Williams character had to had that intelligence to understand what was happening around and yet keeping that innocence intact and Patrick does really well.He comes across well as an intelligent and yet innocent and frail kid trying to find a meaning in whatever he is doing. Each and every artist of the movie performance meticulously right from Jason Lee portraying a the resented ,frustrated and slightly jealous lead singer of the band ,Frances as Williams mother essays her role like a true great actress she is ,really bringing it to life.

The dialogues of the movie had an important part to play in maintaining the pace and the grip of the movie and they really successfully do it.From the fun moments in the bus to interview sessions and the emotionally charged moments of passion and frustration the dialogues compliment them.Some of Russell - William and William - Lester Bangs conversation really hold up because of the dialogues.

Since the movie was centers around music it had to be brilliant and the movie does not falls short even an inch in this aspect .I havent been a fan of those 70's but I really liked what i got from the movie.The music selection is just brilliant.

I feel I was just captured by the movie for 2 hrs and as the movie ended i realized how much i enjoyed it that I didn't even saw how late it has been.Really a great movie ,felt like I was with the band for those two hours.

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